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US launches new strikes on Houthi missile sites in Yemen as deterrence falters

The US military struck Houthi ballistic missiles on the ground, as the Yemeni faction defied previous allied strikes designed to cripple their ability to attack ships in the Red Sea.
Houthi soldiers stand guard on a missile carrier during an official military parade marking the ninth anniversary of the Houthi takeover of the capital, Sanaa, on Sept. 21, 2023.

WASHINGTON — The US military struck additional Houthi missile launch sites in Yemen overnight on Tuesday, after a previous wave of dozens of allied-supported strikes last week failed to stop the rebels from launching missiles at vessels in the Red Sea.

The new US strikes hit four Iranian-made ballistic missiles that were “prepared to launch” on the ground and that “presented an imminent threat” to merchant and US Navy ships, two defense officials informed Al-Monitor. 

The Pentagon’s apparent shift to more aggressive preemptive measures came as the Houthis showed no signs of giving up on their attacks, which they claim are a response to Israel's war in the Gaza Strip.

The Houthis hit a US-owned container ship with a ballistic missile and fired a cruise missile at a US Navy destroyer in the 36 hours leading up to the pre-dawn US strikes on Tuesday.

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